Hundreds of immigrants from the former Soviet Union assembled at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv Monday evening to mark the fifth anniversary of the suicide bombing at the Dolphinarium on the Tel Aviv beach, where 21 young people were killed at the entrance to a nightclub on June 1, 2001.
Among the parents of the victims were Olga and Sasha Taglichev, who lost their daughter Maria, 14. They arrived with their two young children, Artur and Katherine, who were born following Maria's death. Katherine was named after Katherine Kastaniyada, a friend of Maria's who was also killed.
Dozens of young Israeli and international artists participated in an evening of dance and music in memory of the terror victims.
"The purpose of this evening was to commemorate the children," said Irena Sklianik, whose daughter Yael, 15, was killed. "We always wanted to hold a concert in which children the age of our children would perform. It's a symbolic act, especially since the tragedy happened on International Children's Day."
Sklianik, who wears a medallion with her daughter's picture around her neck, told The Jerusalem Post she did not like making distinctions between "Israelis" and "Russians," and that she did not feel like the Dolphinarium tragedy had been treated differently because most of its victims were the children of immigrants.
"On the contrary," she said, "we have received a tremendous amount of support from the Tel Aviv Municipality and the Absorption Ministry, and I think the entire country has mourned with us."
"This is an event that is supposed to bring together all kinds of Israelis," said Huma Pinchev, director of the Absorption Ministry's Tel Aviv office. "It was the idea of the parents to have a concert that would symbolize the surviving memory of those who were killed."